- - UAE Tour 2023 Stage 4

UAE Tour 2023 Stage 4

photo credits @ WTFK

Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) sprinted to victory in stage four of the UAE Tour today, after the Colombian rider powered past Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) and Sam Welsford (DSM) to win with final bike throw on the line in Dubai Harbour that required a photo finish in order to determine the winner. 

“It’s a good victory for me, a good victory for the team,” Molano said on Thursday. “I’m very happy for the team, for this country. Thank you all the team and the riders. Pascal is a good sprinter, now he is not here, because it’s better for me. My opportunity here is more important for me and for the team.”

Meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) finished safely in the peloton to retain the overall lead of the race, with no changes at the top of the standings.

“We tried to win with Tim, but it’s quite clear now I’m in the leader’s jersey that I’m not going to take risks in the lead-out. I was taking care of myself,” Evenepoel said as he looked ahead to two more sprint days before the final showdown on Jebel Hafeet.

“I hope I can just get through those days and save as much energy as possible, but it’d be nice if we can win another stage with Tim.”

Race Highlights

Today’s 174 kilometer stage was animated by a three-rider breakaway made up of Alex Baudin (AG2R Citroën) and the Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè duo of Alessandro Tonelli and Samuele Zoccarato.

From there trio went on to build up a modest advantage of around three minutes, before being reined in as the peloton made its way around the Jumeirah Palm before heading back onto the mainland for the finish along the Dubai Harbour.

The lead-out was complicated by a tight right-hand bend with 800 meters to go, making it hard for big lead-out trains to deliver riders.

Instead, Gaviria took it upon himself to hit out with more than 200 meters to go, a move that has worked for him in the past but not with this headwind, and the Colombian ended up bashing his bars in frustration.

It was Welsford who jumped into action and jumped onto Gaviria’s wheel, which Merlier was also making a beeline for. The Australian got there, but Kooij and Molano lined up behind him.

Kooij went left and as Merlier faded Molano found a gap on the right. They all came together in a row on the line, and in the end, it fell to Molano by the tightest of margins.

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